Senna

The Greatest Opening Lap In Formula One History

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The greatest opening lap in Formula One history: Donington 1993.

Senna

Edited by Senna

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The greatest opening lap in Formula One history: Donington 1993.

Senna’s best race performance?

don93.jpg

Written by my own fair hand:

To set the scene: the Williams car was clearly the class of the field, as it had been the previous year, and Ayrton Senna had an inferior Ford engine to Michael Schumacher all season as McLaren, after the departure of Honda, was now only a customer team, the works units were of course supplied exclusively to Benetton. Benetton got the latest spec engine with pneumatic valves; Senna would have to contend with springs and inferior horsepower…

At Donington 93 Prost, in the gizmo clad Williams FW15C, was on pole with a time of 1'10.458. Senna qualified 4th with a time of 1'12.107. Senna was nearly 2 sec slower than Prost in the dry!

The race was wet, very wet. At the start Wendlinger made a great start and passed Senna and Schumacher. Then, we saw pure unadulterated genius: Senna passed Michael Schumacher, Karl Wendlinger, Damon Hill and Alain Prost on lap 1 in treacherous wet conditions. Senna led the pack by 0.698 seconds as he crossed the start finish line having started the lap in 4th place!

The weather became changeable, drying up then raining again. Senna judged the situation impeccably, several times driving on a wet track with slick tyres displaying extra worldly car control. Prost couldn’t decide what to do and this is evident in the fact that he had 7 pit stops compared to Senna's 4.

Senna led 93% of the race with Prost the only other driver to lead a lap (5 in total) and Senna posted the fastest race lap time on lap 57, 1.350 seconds faster than Damon Hill’s lap which was second quickest.

Damon finished the race in second place, 83.199 seconds behind the great Brazilian. Alain Prost finished third and was lapped, so was everyone behind him, several times. Lots of drivers spun out in the difficult conditions including the ‘rain master’ Michael Schumacher. He lasted only until lap 22.

video

(With broadband the video loads almost instantly, I’m not sure how long it will take for 56k modems…)

yeah he finished something like 80 seconds ahead of the williams ,didnt he?

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83.199 seconds ahead of the highest Williams driver, as I mentioned in my article.

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That was Senna's finest race of all time.

Arguably yes but there are several other contenders

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Good article Senna. I have (almost) the entire Donnington race taped on VHS if you're interested. They showed it on SPEED Channel a few years ago and it was billed as "Senna's greatest race ever", but it was edited somewhat (for length). Some of the more 'mundane' bits missing (as if any part of that race could be called mundane), but most of the action is all there.

It was quite a race....

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:clap3::clap3::clap3: Another gem Senna you have done a spot on job :tiphat:

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Indeed, a fine job Senna (both the poster and the driver of course).

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As soon as I read the words 'The Greatest Opening Lap In Formula One History', this same lap immediately came to mind. It was simply brilliant.

The weather became changeable, drying up then raining again. Senna judged the situation impeccably, several times driving on a wet track with slick tyres displaying extra worldly car control. Prost couldn

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Great topic Senna!!!

I knew exactly which first lap would take get the award before I even opened the topic.

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Great topic Senna!!!

I knew exactly which first lap would take get the award before I even opened the topic.

Indeed. What else could it have been?

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I know of a start that could top it.

Well??????????????????

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I know of a start that could top it.

Rubbish. Read my analysis and watch the video again. Senna

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Rubbish. Read my analysis and watch the video again. Senna

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I know of a start that could top it.
I said start, not opening lap. Start = before they get to the first corner. He had a bad start by that definition, losing out to Wendlinger's Sauber, but the lap in all was brilliance. What, in your opinion, is the greatest start (before first corner) in F1? My suggestion will come later.

:rolleyes:

Your suggestion will come later? I thought you said you KNOW of a start that could top it.

Clearly you don't as you need time to go away and think about it. We'll not be seeing you on this forum again then as you won't find one.

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I said start, not opening lap. Start = before they get to the first corner. He had a bad start by that definition, losing out to Wendlinger's Sauber, but the lap in all was brilliance. What, in your opinion, is the greatest start (before first corner) in F1? My suggestion will come later.

:blink:Before the first corner eh? That severely limits the options as we are considering such a small distance. I could think of several excellent starts but that perhaps is a subject for a different topic. Here we are examining Senna

Edited by Senna

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B) John Watsons start at the Long Beach F1 race was a sight to see, If I remember right from last to first(for the race) but on the first lap he was a demon.

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:rolleyes:

Your suggestion will come later? I thought you said you KNOW of a start that could top it.

Clearly you don't as you need time to go away and think about it. We'll not be seeing you on this forum again then as you won't find one.

I knew what my suggestion was, I was waiting to see what other people would say. Apparently you do not know me well enough to realise that I do come back, and my greatest start was Fernando Alonso at the 04' USGP, 9th to 3rd.

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I knew what my suggestion was, I was waiting to see what other people would say. Apparently you do not know me well enough to realise that I do come back, and my greatest start was Fernando Alonso at the 04' USGP, 9th to 3rd.

I have reservations over this topic. Firstly, if we are to discuss it seriously we should start an entirely new topic. Secondly, it is a dubious matter. How are we to decide which is the best start? Is the best start the one in which the most cars were overtaken? If so, we must look at a situation where a top driver in a top car found himself at the back of the grid and quickly made up places. That would seem reasonable. However, is that really a great start? For we must surely consider why the driver was at the back in the first place and also assess the quality of opposition in terms of man and machine he faced in such a lowly, unnatural position. Then if we go to the other extreme we might say that a clean start from pole is the greatest. However, this hardly seems satisfactory either. We could consider endless permutations or dismiss the subject entirely. The later option seems more sensible.

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:rolleyes:

Your suggestion will come later? I thought you said you KNOW of a start that could top it.

Clearly you don't as you need time to go away and think about it. We'll not be seeing you on this forum again then as you won't find one.

pfft. n00b.

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I knew what my suggestion was, I was waiting to see what other people would say. Apparently you do not know me well enough to realise that I do come back, and my greatest start was Fernando Alonso at the 04' USGP, 9th to 3rd.

Have you even read what the topic title is?

Where does it say Greatest Ever Start?

I don't want to "know you well enough" either!

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